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World turns away from the plight facing Honduras

by Breonnah Colón - Editor in Chief
Tue, Sep 4th 2018 11:35 pm

Underdeveloped countries tend to be overlooked by  more financially stable nations, especially when internal issues take place. Situations like civil wars, corruption and tyranny are commonly viewed as ‘their problem’ by most people. Unless a severe disaster takes place, typically ones that include extreme environmental factors which are then perceived to be out of ‘their’ control, most of the world prefers to leave those who struggle to their own devices, even when a means for help is viable. When people live on the other side of the world it is easier to pretend their issues are theirs alone, but what happens when they are just a couple hours away? It seems not much changes. 

At least that is  the case for Hondurans today; not only are they facing corruption and abuse within their own country but when they attempt to find a safer and more secure life for themselves by traveling to the United States, they are being faced with harsh immigration reform currently being implemented by Trump Administration.

Located in Central America, surrounded by El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, formally known as República de Honduras the country has had a colorful and tumultuous history. The country gained independence from Spain in 1821 and has been hosting elections since 1838. However, this does not mean its citizens were treated fairly or evenly properly. According to BBC, Honduras has been frequently plagued with corruption, crime and poverty. Until the mid 1980s the country was run by its military which heavily supported U.S. efforts to stave off revolutionary movements - in other words silencing citizens who did not agree with the mistreatment they faced. Today Honduras is known for being one of the most unstable countries in Central America.

Recently, the country has made news for its 2018 presidentiaal election and violent police reaction to protestors which have resulted in at least 22 casualties to date, according to The New York Times. In opposition to the results of the election which led to the re-election of President Juan Orlando Hernández for a second term, a situation which was originally banned by the country’s constitution.

 However, that ruling was overturned by five supreme court judges, all appointed by Hernández. Despite lagging behind his opponent Salvador Nasralla throughout the election, Hernández was appointed president with a lead of 50,000 votes. In response thousands of Honduras took to the streets to protest. The government did not react kindly and conflict was sparked.

This is exactly the type of situation that is deemed as ‘their problem,’ many Americans wouldn’t concern themselves with learning, let alone caring, about the millions of people struggling with the plight of corruption. However, an issue closer to  home is directly impacted by this situation, one that impacts every American: immigration. Hondurans fall behind Salvadorans and Guatemalans in numbers of migrants entering the country, according to the Pew research center.

However, thousands of Hondurans do seek refuge in the United States annually and have been for decades - like many others attempting to better their lives. Following hurricane Mitch, category 5  storm that gave the country the worst flooding it saw throughout the entire 20th century the number of migrants entering the country drastically increased. Mitch took place in 1998, meaning those who emigrated at the time have been here for over a decade. Recently the Department of Homeland Security terminated the protected status of around 57,000 Hondurans. This would force those individuals to return back to Honduras by January 5, 2020, according to The Washington Post.

Needless to say, this situation is devastating for the thousands of people who believed they had finally reached a place where they could live their lives in safety. Trump’s harsh immigration reform would force them to return to a place where crime lords have  more power than the police and corruption is more frequent than the proper actions of congress. We may not be able to help those in Honduras, but we certainly should take into consideration the events taking place around the globe, because as much as we would like to think we aren’t, we are all impacted by them. The trials and tribulations taking place aren’t a whole world, they’re happening very close to home, in the other America. 

 

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